The Ultimate, No-Panic Guide to Moving in 2 Weeks.


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Are you moving in 2 weeks and still not ready? There’s no time for lecturing; you’ve got a lot to do in a less-than-ideal amount of time.

However, it is doable, and yes, you can still move. 

At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s extremely important that you avoid panicking right now. 

Because now it’s time for action.

In the third episode of our Master Your Move series, Erin, our Austin Market Manager, is back with the best advice for moving out in a time crunch

Here are Erin’s top tips on how to prepare for a moving company within two weeks—whether you live in an apartment or a house!

P.S. Don’t forget to download the checklist for moving in 2 weeks!

Top Things to Do 2 Weeks Ahead (No Matter Where You’re Moving)

Two weeks will fly by fast, and spots fill up quickly.”

Erin. 3 Men Movers Market Manager, Austin

You probably thought you had more time. After all, two weeks can seem like enough. 

But, it really isn’t… Especially considering everything you have to do, like: 

  • Find a moving company
  • Donate or get rid of anything you don’t want to take with you
  • Packing everything you own (including the supplies, closing/taping and labeling boxes) 
  • Handle other move-related errands (like changing your address, vehicle, or voter registration, setting up new utilities, etc)
  • And finally, the actual move day

Not to mention unpacking and setting up your new place, or shopping around for anything you need to get settled.

Remember, you’re also competing with hundreds of other people who need to move due to expiring leases!

So, if you’ve done absolutely none of the above, take a deep breath, read on, and download the checklist for moving in 2 weeks!

General Tips For Moving in 2 Weeks:

Erin highly recommends some key steps to prepare for moving company in just 2 weeks No matter where you’re moving to or from:

  1. Book a mover as fast as possible. This is extremely important during peak moving seasons (like summer) when tons of people are moving. Not sure what to look for? We’ve got just the right questions to ask—especially if you want to move quickly—and how to find a legitimate company.  
  2. Clearly label the contents and anything fragile. 
  3. Check on parking or truck access from the street. Make sure you speak to your landlord or neighbors first to avoid any conflicts.
  4. Schedule any necessary appointments as far in advance as possible (e.g. reserving an elevator, hiring an electrician, locating cleaners or specialty disposal, finding contractors to disassemble certain items like playground or workout equipment). You’ll also want to note the times.
  5. Get packing supplies. Take stock of the easily damaged things you have, (like TVs, mirrors, glasses, artwork, jewelry, etc.) If you’re packing yourself, buy or repurpose supplies that can make packing easier: strong boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, blankets for wrapping, bubble wrap, leg casters, box dividers (or clean towels) for glasses and dishes, and plastic wrap or tarp for transporting live, potted plants.   MASTER TIP: Break out and use the boxes or cases that your devices came in (e.g. TVs, jewelry, lamps, cookware). 
  6. Call your moving company and check your appointment. If movers haven’t already done a virtual or in-person walkthrough, take photos or video and send it to them yourself. This is especially key if you’re using the company’s packing services.  MASTER TIP: Open all closets, cabinets, doors, and drawers so the company can accurately gauge how much they’ll be packing and/or moving. Review your quote with them and ask about any additional fees not outlined that could be tacked on after your move for certain reasons.
  7.  2 nights & 1 night before moving: get a good night’s rest, because sleep deprivation adds up and leaves most people less than alert. Trust us, you don’t want to be grumpy or groggy while you’re moving.
  8. Pack up the last things you’ll use in the morning. Toiletries, cosmetics, medication/vitamins, snacks, dog food, kid’s supplies—think of everything you know you’ll need to use on move day that won’t go on the truck. Keep them easily accessible by using a backpack, suitcase, or duffel bag and toss it in your car. The same goes for live, potted plants; make room in your vehicle, because they can’t legally be transported in a moving truck. MASTER TIP:  Wrap plants and tarp your floor so the soil doesn’t spill.
  9. Make sure you have your payment ready. When you first book and sign, all scheduled charges should be explained and documented upfront. You definitely don’t want your move day to arrive and you’re unable to pay. Legally, moving companies can retain your items on their trucks until you can pay as agreed in your contract. No one likes being in that situation, so make sure you have enough money to cover your move (you can always call the mover later if there’s an issue!)  MASTER TIP: If payment is a problem, save yourself and your moving company some awkwardness and cancel or reschedule for when you’re ready. 
  10. Check labels & move boxes out of the way. Clearing a path for your movers to get to and from your apartment door is the best way to make your move faster.  MASTER TIP:  Make sure any fragile items are clearly marked on all sides of the box with an arrow facing upwards. 
  11. Do one last sweep with movers before leaving. The worst feeling is leaving something behind. (Plus, it’s a nightmare if you’re moving long-distance!) Avoid this by doing one final sweep of your entire apartment or home. MASTER TIP:  While moving, leave open all closets, cabinets, and drawers to make sure you and your movers don’t miss a thing. Get a step ladder to check on top of kitchen cabinets where a lot of people often place decorations. 

Download Your Free 2-Week Moving Checklist 

Whether you’re moving from a house or apartment, this free, 3-page guide will help you prepare in under two weeks. Simply click to download!

start preparing to move in 2 weeks with this checklist

 

Preparing to Move From an Apartment in 2 Weeks:

If you’re making the move from an apartment to a house, you’ll have some specific things to consider. Most likely, you’ll have more time constraints moving out than moving into a neighborhood.

According to Erin, this is the best way to prep two weeks before moving from an apartment. 

As soon as you know you’re moving out of an apartment:

  • Repair any and all damages. This is a big one because apartments will charge you for damages after you’ve moved out (even if they were already there). While you still live in your apartment, it’s 100% free to notify your leasing office about existing damages and have them repaired!
  • Make necessary reservations at your apartment complex. You might be required to reserve an elevator, parking spots, or do certain things before you move. The complex may also need to adhere to certain procedures or do things like install hangers in your reserved elevator for the movers. Talk to the leasing office in advance and give them ample details. 
  • Clean your apartment thoroughly. Tackle the biggest, dirtiest jobs first (do a bit every day). That way the lighter cleaning can wait until move day so you’re not overwhelmed or in the way. You could even get your deposit back if it’s clean enough! MASTER TIP: schedule your move so you have an extra day to intensively clean your apartment after all the furniture is gone. 

5-7 days before moving from your apartment:  

  • Start packing everything. Being overwhelmed is a major factor of stress during move day. Packing early eliminates that. Moving companies often offer packing and/or unpacking if you don’t want to do it all on your own. At 3 Men Movers, we not only offer both services, but our unpackers will organize everything so you’re prepared to start living.
  • Declutter & see what you can sell/give away. This is a great time not only to pack, but to go through any junk or things you no longer want that can be donated. Certain clothing consignments may be able to give you extra cash for your unwanted attire, or you can drop them off at nonprofit centers.  

2-4 days before moving from your apartment:  

  • Revisit your apartment office & recap your move day. Is there anything you forgot to tell the leasing office? Perhaps there’s something your movers told you that changes your plans a bit? Either way, let your office know. On the flip side, inform your leasing office how your move day will generally go and ensure all your reservations still stand, uninterrupted. Review parking options and the permitted loading areas, then relay this info to your moving company. (You don’t want movers wasting any time trying to determine where to park or load). 
  • Wrap up any major cleaning and repairs. Even if you’ve booked your move so that you have an extra day to clean your empty apartment, you should still have most of it done. Repairs should definitely be done at least a day before movers set foot in your apartment. 

The same day you’re moving out of an apartment:  

  • Communicate with your movers. While they should have all the important information before they arrive, it never hurts to check twice. Call the company when they open and ask if everything is on schedule
  • When movers arrive, show them everything. Like where certain things are, (e.g., stairs, parking and loading dock, elevators, etc.) Also, during peak seasons, some highly-requested crews may be busier than normal. If you’re not the first appointment of the day, this could push back your move start time a bit—especially if the previous job had more items than expected or if they weren’t totally prepared. 

Preparing to Move From a House in 2 Weeks:

If you’re moving from a house, you do have more flexibility as far as time and parking availability. But there are still some ways you can specifically prepare if you’re two weeks away from moving and not ready. 

As soon as you know you’re moving out of a house:

  • Start packing right away. You might have fewer time constraints than an apartment-dweller, but none of that matters if you’re not packed before move day. Start cleaning and clearing out old junk, too. You’ll likely have more unwanted stuff if you live in a house rather than an apartment. 
  • Talk to your neighbors. Communicate with your neighbors in advance so there will be a spot for your movers’ truck. You don’t want your movers to have to compete with other contractors or personal vehicles if your neighbors are using services or hosting gatherings on the same day. Your move will definitely take longer if crew members have to walk from down the street to move items out of your home.
  • Book your move at the appropriate time. While you don’t have to worry about handing over the keys to a leasing agent right away, you still should be considerate. So when you’re scheduling your move, keep in mind any conflicting information you uncovered while speaking with neighbors. 

7-10 days before moving from a house:  

  • Get repairs and contracting services done. If you’re renting, ask your landlord about repairs. 
  • Thoroughly label and number your boxes. As listed under the General tips, you should already have gotten moving boxes and supplies and started packing. Besides simply writing ‘fragile’ on your boxes, number them to match the rooms they will go into at the new place. (More on that below).

5-10 days before moving out of a house:

  • Schedule contractors to dismantle any special or expensive items. Certain furniture and equipment must be dismantled before moving (like grandfather clocks, light fixtures, Peloton bikes, gun safes that are bolted into the floor or need doors removed). 
  • Get the proper equipment, casing, boxes, wraps, etc. for any instruments, jewelry, ammunition).

1-2 days before your move from a house:

  • Communicate any obstacles getting to your home. When your moving company opens, give them a call to let them know if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Is your street clear? Are your neighbors doing construction or expecting lots of cars on the street? Will there be any hills that movers have to traverse while hauling your stuff to the truck? What about low-hanging trees or cables?
  • Assist with a virtual walkthrough. Send your moving company photos of how much stuff you need to move. A simple cell phone photo of each room will do, but remember to snap your closets, cabinets, dressers with clothing, and outdoor furniture. Knowing how much and what you have to move will help the moving company send you the right crew and inform you of any fee changes. No one likes surprise charges after moving!
  • Check on any storage facility restrictions.  On move day, the clock will be ticking and most movers charge hourly. So waiting on any mishaps at a storage facility could end up being expensive. If you’re moving things into or out of storage, make sure a facility manager is there in case you have issues. It’s also vital to know whether the storage company restricts moves after a certain time
  • Do your laundry. This goes without saying, but no one wants to transport dirty clothing. 
  • Clean & disconnect appliances. Any appliances like washers, dryers, and refrigerators should be disconnected at least 24 hours in advance of your move. Some movers will assist you with this, but many others won’t (movers generally aren’t trained to do that kind of thing).  Moving companies will often ask you to waive liability so they aren’t responsible if anything goes wrong. If you need help with disconnecting and reconnecting a washer or dryer, ask your chosen moving company during booking.  MASTER TIP: For dryers, make sure the vent is thoroughly cleaned before installing it in your new home. 
  • Set up utilities in your new space. Set up or transfer your cable, internet, water, gas, and electricity before your move. In some areas of Texas, like DFW and Houston, you can choose your electricity provider and shop for the cheapest electricity rate.

The same day you’re moving out of your home:

  • Charge your cell phone. Before—or even during—your move, the moving company or crew may need to get in touch with you. Keep your cell phone on you and charged at all times so you and your movers don’t miss any important news.  Don’t forget to turn up your ringer volume!
  • Prepare everything you need to use that day. If there are things you know you’ll need (like snacks, medications, or your toothbrush) keep them separate in a backpack or tote bag.
  • Do a walkthrough before & after moving furniture. It seems repetitive, but we can’t stress this enough: open every closet, cabinet, and drawer before your movers start and after everything is moved out. Before you head off to your destination, don’t forget to do one final walkthrough with your movers to ensure nothing’s left behind. It’s also crucial to clear out any drawers with clothing or drawers before dressers get lifted and shifted on a dolly, so items and inner parts don’t rip or break. Make sure the movers do a final check of the truck after you move into the new space. 
  • Label the doors of each room to match your boxes.  Using a sticky note, copy the numbers you put on the boxes to denote where each box will go at your new place. This will prevent movers from constantly having to ask where you want every box placed, and will generally speed up your move.  

*Special Note on When to Pack a House: 

We typically recommend that you start packing a house one month in advance. But if you have a house to pack and haven’t done anything at all, start now

How much time you dedicate to packing and how much you have to pack are huge factors in how long your move takes. 

Will you spend 8 hours a day packing over the course of one or two weekends? 

Do you work such long hours that packing by yourself for 12 hours isn’t possible? 

MASTER TIP: Here’s a quick guide to packing in advance by home size with a standard amount of belongings:

  • 2-3 bedroom home + standard amount of items: 3 weeks – 1 month ahead
  • 3-5 bedroom home + standard amount of items:  As soon as you know you’re moving. 

 

Wrapping Up

If you’re worried about having a last-minute move and have only two weeks to plan—relax

The best thing you can do now is to pack, find a mover, and follow this guide to moving in 2 weeks


Here’s How to Make Moving Somewhere New Less Scary


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So you want to move somewhere completely new where you don’t have any connections?  

Well, there’s a wrong way and a right way to fulfill your desire of moving somewhere else alone. Below, we break down what you need to know before you go, and why.

Moving to a New City or State? Consider These Things First

The last thing you need is to be afraid or caught off-guard by unexpected challenges. Before you load up a moving truck with everything you own, make sure you investigate everything that will impact your life and happiness in a brand-new city.

If You’ve Never Lived There

Desiring to relocate elsewhere and start over can seem thrilling. But if you’ve never lived there, haven’t even visited, or if you have no family/friends waiting, picturing your new life can conjure dreamy illusions not based in reality. 

To know the real deal, you’ll need to look into things like:

  • Influential cultures/subcultures, politics, or policies. It may not be obvious now, but the general pace, attitudes, and demographics of a new place will have a tremendous impact on your longterm happiness. Plenty of people who are used to a way of life may find it hard to adjust to something new. Whatever preconceived notion you had of the place you want to move to, your new discoveries about it may be super interesting or extremely off-putting. 
  • Climate, weather, and seasonality.  This is crucial if you hate certain weather extremes. Note: climate is general and is defined as “the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long time period.”  For example, Texas is known for its scorching, humid summers, heavy and sometimes dangerous rainfall, and lack of four distinct seasons. (Unless you count allergy season by itself). People with a strong preference for mild or colder climates or individuals with medical conditions triggered by heat definitely shouldn’t move here on a whim! The same logic applies if you have a severe respiratory disease… You probably should investigate if your desired city has heavy air pollution. 
  • Check transportation routes. When you’re looking for a place to live, transportation is a key factor in getting to a job or important services. No matter if you’re house- or apartment-hunting if you plan on commuting, use Google Maps or Quora to find out where the major traffic areas, interstates, highways, or public transportation routes are. While you’re at it, see what’s nearby in terms of grocery stores, hospitals, urgent care clinics, shopping centers, public facilities, or entertainment. 

 

If You Don’t Already Have a Job 

Not having a job lined up wherever you plan to relocate can make things more difficult, but it’s certainly not an automatic failure. 

If you’re trying to land a gig in your new locale, do this before you move:

  • Check out the local job market. Depending on where you live, some industries have a stronger presence than others. It’s up to you to find out which fields, occupations, and skills are more in-demand in the new place you want to move. Roles for a marine biologist or scuba instructor may not exactly be abundant if you want to move to a landlocked city or state with no coastline or beach. 
  • Build your network online. What skills do you need to work on to get the job you want? Of course, you’ll need to polish your professional presence—resumes, curriculum vitae, portfolios, etc. Get copies of any transcripts, diplomas, or certificates before you move. Then, the hustle begins: Join professional groups or meetups (Facebook is fantastic for this), establish yourself on LinkedIn and post regularly while reaching out to former colleagues, professional acquaintances, and new connections. This will help increase your online visibility to recruiters and employers needing to fill a role. Research job opportunities and apply online directly with the company you’re checking out. Ask anyone you know who lives there to keep an eye out for roles that fit your skillset. It will also help you help others who are looking for new opportunities you come across but don’t want; they will likely appreciate it and return the favor when necessary. Check into larger employers or startups based there because they’ll often have more roles to fill. 
  • Gain a new skill or trade. Trade schools, internet-based certifications, and online courses from colleges and universities have made it easier than ever to develop an existing competency or gain a new skill. If you don’t already have a role in the city you’ve moved to, focus on one of these methods to get the background knowledge for a new job. Also, consider getting a freelance hustle in the gig economy in case you need to temporarily make ends meet. 

If You Have Pets or Children

Ok, so you’re not exactly alone if you’re bringing pets or kids along to a different city or state… However, if you are alone, then you’re definitely the breadwinner. 

Here are some super important things that parents and pet owners should look into before moving somewhere unfamiliar:

For pet parents: Check your residential pet policy.

  • It’s more than just paying pet rent. Some homeowner’s associations (HOAs), many home insurance companies, apartment complexes, and even cities/counties have policies that ban certain animals, including specific dog breeds and mixes. Although there is much controversy over these breed restrictions, certain entities like apartment complexes and rentals, reserve the right to enforce any lease bans on what they deem “aggressive breeds.”
  • Even if you don’t have an aggressive breed as outlined in the contract, another neighbor could. If the thought of it makes you uneasy, it should. Terms of the other tenant’s lease are only known and enforceable by the landlord. So, it’s at their discretion to give them the boot, and you won’t have a say if a dispute arises over an unfriendly pet.
  • Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance companies often have long, arbitrary dog blacklists, too.  Many smaller cities, homeowner associations (HOAs), and apartment complexes have breed restrictions as well. Unfortunately, many people don’t consider this or even ask about pet policies when they move somewhere new.  If your pup is considered a prohibited breed or has a history of biting, you often can’t get renter’s or homeowner’s insurance coverage, so check into this before moving.
  • If your dog is deemed an aggressive breed and harms someone? You’re facing 100% liability for the resulting costs because it won’t be covered by an insurer. You can try to get an exception, have the dog excluded from the policy, or search for another insurer. More exotic pets (like snakes or meat-eating reptiles) are typically excluded from homeowners and renter’s insurance, altogether.

For parents of children: Dig into school district ratings.

  • Education is a crucial part of childhood development. If you have children in primary school, you’ll want to research the best school districts where you’re planning to move and make sure you’re legally zoned to those districts.
  • Find the answers to important questions about the districts and any specific schools you’re eyeing. What are their ratings and why? What are the policies, programs, and track records of the schools? What are students and other parents saying about the school? It will have a big influence on where you choose to live.
  • For those in secondary schools, focus on any interests your kids have that are reflected in the academic or extracurricular activities. For instance, if your daughter is adamant about becoming a pediatrician, look for schools that emphasize science exposure. Getting credit for certain advanced high school-level courses can help offset your child’s college tuition costs later. Depending on any training programs that your child completes, they could possibly graduate high school with a professional certification! Join online parental groups and check local news sources to get the real scoop on the state of childhood education before you move. 

If You’re Single or Simply Don’t Know Anyone

Single? Looking for friends? 

Stop us if this starts to sound like a dating ad, but you’re going to have to work harder to get to know a new place so it’s not so intimidating. 

If you’re moving and don’t know anyone:

  • Read up on the neighborhoods. Most cities are unofficially separated into different neighborhoods. The upscale suburbs, the newly renovated and gentrified areas, urban enclaves, tourist traps, where to get the best shopping, food, business or industrial connections… You name it. If you’re excited to explore a new city, get to know where you want to hang outwhere you want to live, and if you want those two to actually be the same place or separate. Can you handle living around an area with frequent noise? What about the quieter family-oriented suburbs? Do you want your amenities within walking distance or do you prefer to live on the outskirts and see the stars? 
  • Check crime rate & response times. When you’re alone in a new city you don’t know very well, safety should be at the forefront of your decision. This also goes back to the first point: know where your nearest hospitals, ER, and urgent care centers are near your new spot . What’s the average first responder time? What do the crime rate and density look like by neighborhood or zip code? There are lots of deceptively attractive areas you’ll see in the daytime that actually have surprising crime rates. Whether it’s break-ins, burglaries, juvenile mischief, or even violent crime, you need to know before you make the commitment. Get the real deal from real residents using apartment review pages and sites like Nextdoor.com for neighborhoods. 

If You’re Buying a Home There

House-hunting means you’re seriously thinking about settling in a new place. If you’ve never lived there before and never bought a house, you’ll want to look out for these things specifically:

  • What are local and state taxes like? What about insurance? What are the property taxes and insurance rates in your new desired location? Are they higher than what you’re paying now (or more than what you’d be willing to pay)? Don’t stop at digging into the property taxes, but find out if your new destination requires state income taxes, too. 
  • Before closing, check Mother Nature. Are you moving to an area notorious for flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, etc? If you’re eyeing a move to a new place with a reputation for natural disasters, this should be at the top of your FAQs when looking for a new home. Real estate agents should be able to help answer these questions while steering clear of anything that gives you pause. Likewise, it’s best if you’re upfront about your concerns right away.
  • Find the nearest fire department. Not only will this help you save on home insurance costs, but you’ll feel safer knowing that trained firefighters aren’t far away if you ever need them.
  • Locate nearby noise-makers and potential hazards. Unfortunately, some people don’t even think about this until they’re trying to sleep or get to work and a train abruptly and very loudly interrupts them… Or when that nearby airport activity constantly jams up their WiFi and cell phone signals. The dangers of living near an outdoor gun range or an unofficial outdoor shooting practice area are obvious.  Airports, railroads, shooting ranges, etc… these are things to avoid when house-hunting somewhere you’ve never been before. Make sure you notify any realtor you’re working with, too, of these deal-breakers.

Get Ready to Start Over Somewhere New. Fearlessly.

Lots of people find it too intimidating to even consider heading off alone. 

(Meanwhile, other folks do the exact opposite, diving in headfirst to the prospect without planning at all). Both mindsets can end up regretting “what could have been.”

It can seem exciting to move to a place you’ve never lived in. It can also prove challenging if you don’t check out this critical information first. 

Now, you don’t have to let any of that stop you!


How To Pack Your Valuables Before A Move


Most packing guides on the Internet will help you square away your home, but just what do you do with your valuables? There’s quite a bit of variation among moving companies when it comes to handling precious items like jewelry, currency, or personal documentation. Some moving companies will handle your valuables with ease; others might require direct permission; and some might refuse the responsibility altogether. Some customers may not think to ask their chosen moving company for their guidelines, which can result in some trouble on the big day of your move.

We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to pack your valuables. Televisions and clothes may be safe for movers to handle, but what about mirrors and money?

How To Pack Your Valuables